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Rural schools are high on enrolment and low on learning.

Jul 1st, 2015

The country’s biggest private audit of elementary education in rural India – Pratham has released his 10th Annual Status Report  stating that the enrolments have been rising, but learning levels in reading, mathematics and English is poor in private schools as well as in government school.

ASER also says improvement in school facilities -pupil teacher ratios, playgrounds, kitchen sheds, drinking water facilities, and toilets -continues. The HRD ministry is going to strongly dispute ASER’s claims on falling learning outcomes since government’s own report gives a different picture.

Pratham gaining worldwide presence -from Pakistan to Africa -the ceremony, again like in the past, was a glittering event attended by industrialists, entrepreneurs and even chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian. The report for 2014 was done after survey of 16,497 villages, 5.7 lakh children in over 3.4 lakh households across 577 districts. It says that for the sixth year in a row, enrollment levels are 96% or higher for the age group of 6 to 14. The proportion of children not in school remains at 3.3%. However, in some states proportion of girls out of school is more than 8%. For instance in Rajasthan, it is 12.1% and in Uttar Pradesh 9.2%.

Though enrollment has gone up, teacher and student attendance shows no major change from last year. In 2014, 71.4% of enrolled children in primary schools and 71.1% of enrolled children in upper primary school were present on the day of the survey. Since 2009, there has been a small decrease in the attendance rates of teachers. In 2014, 85% of appointed teachers were present in school compared to 89.1% in 2009. In upper primary schools, attendance in 2014 was 85.8% against 88.6% in 2009.